Former state Senator David Rouzer hopes his second try at the NC7 seat in Congress is more successful than his first
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – David Rouzer came within about 700 votes of winning a seat in Congress two years ago. His defeat to then 8-term incumbent Rep. Mike McIntyre was the closest U.S. House election in the country. Rouzer, the former state Senator from Johnston County, is making another try at winning the Seventh District Congressional seat again in 2014.
Despite winning the GOP primary in 2012 and coming close to taking the general election, Rouzer refuses to consider himself the favorite in the Republican field.
"I think it's very dangerous to do that, as a candidate," Rouzer said when asked about the "favorite" label. "What I am looking at is ‘am I setting out to achieve the metrics that I want to achieve'. Where I won in 2012 I want to win bigger in 2014."
Since the loss to McIntyre, Rouzer has worked to increase his familiarity among voters in the coastal areas of the Seventh District. "We made tremendous strides in 2012," he says. "In fact, we won on Election Day in 2012 by 53 percent to 47 percent. But I lost the early vote 53 percent to 47 percent. What I recognized was, there were a lot of folks in this area, even though I won narrowly over McIntyre, there were still a lot of folks who did not know who I was."
When he talks about some of the bigger issues facing the coastal
communities of the Seventh District, Rouzer lists the need for long-term
solutions for inlet and waterway dredging, and beach renourishment.
Rouzer hits hard on the need to repeal President Barack Obama's
Affordable Care Act, calling it essential in the process of growing the nation's
economy. "There are some specific items we can do to grow the economy," Rouzer
said when asked about the issue. "One is reform the tax code so that it is
lower and flatter so people can keep more of their hard-earned money. Another
is get rid of all the rules and regulations that make it harder to do business,
along with repealing Obamacare and replacing it with more common-sense
free-market solutions; and then we've got to cut spending."
Rouzer has been criticized by fellow GOP candidate Woody White
for "lobbying for amnesty for illegal immigrants" during the time he worked for
former Sen. Jesse Helms. When asked about the challenge of immigration reform,
Rouzer said "Let me just say I do not support amnesty, and I am not going to
vote for any path to citizenship in any proposal no matter what it may be or who
comes forward with it. My interest in that area is to make sure our farmers can
get the labor they need when they need it so their crops are not rotting in the
Opponents also call Rouzer a "Washington insider" because of the
time he spent working not only with Helms but also former Sen. Elizabeth Dole.
Rouzer looks at that experience as an advantage, not a drawback. "I bring a lot of experience to the table,"
he said about his experience in Washington DC and in Raleigh. "I've been
through a lot of legislative battles and I've been through a lot of political
battles. I know how to use politics to advance legislation. I know how to hold
firm for conservative values and principles, but also work with other people to
move the ball down the court and move the country forward. That's a real talent that is missing in Washington